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When a role model displays behavior that is negative, talk with your child about your family values and why the behavior is unacceptable.By the time children become adolescents, they should be able to differentiate the positive and negative behaviors of the people they admire.That really inspires me.” Role models live their values in the world.
They and 42 other college students recalled stories of their childhoods and adolescence and the kind of people who inspired them.
You can read their stories and learn more about my research in Role models come into young people’s lives in a variety of ways.
He has dedicated his life to give back to his community. Positive role models are also linked to self-efficacy, the ability to believe in ourselves.
In fact, the young people in my study admitted that had they not learned to believe in themselves, they would not have been capable of believing they could make a difference in the world!
It helps them understand how their own values are part of who they are and how they might seek fulfilling roles as adults.
For example, students spoke of many people who supported causes from education to poverty to the environment.The American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry suggests parents speak to their children about role models and the qualities they possess.Discover who your child’s role models are and why they are admired.Most often, when role models embrace inappropriate behaviors, they lose their ability to inspire others.However, if a child becomes significantly attached to a role model’s ideology, power, or popularity, the young person may believe the negative behavior is acceptable.Whether you are a parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, teacher, civic leader, clergy member, sports coach, after-school program leader, or a person who just happens into a child’s life, you have the ability to inspire!As a followup to this article, you may also be interested in reading how role models influence youth strategies for success. Role models helped these students understand the underlying values that motivated people to become advocates for social change and innovation. Role models are usually active in their communities, freely giving of their time and talents to benefit people.Students admired people who served on local boards, reached out to neighbors in need, voted, and were active members of community organizations.Related to the idea that role models show a commitment to their communities, students also admired people for their selflessness and acceptance of others who were different from them. Washington once said, “Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which one has overcome.” Young people echoed this sentiment, showing how they developed the skills and abilities of initiative when they learned to overcome obstacles.One student spoke of her father, saying “He never saw social barriers. Not surprisingly, they admire people who show them that success is possible.